Dumbarton 1 - 5 Stirling AlbionLeague - Second Division
Saturday, August 13th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Strathclyde Homes Stadium
Referee: Charlie Richmond
Scott Agnew (8)
Darren Smith (5)
Alan Cook (46)
Joshua Flood (48)
Sean Dillon (56)
John Crawley (69)
|Alan Adamson||Jocky Scott|
Darren Lee Smith
Pat Walker for Bryan Prunty (46)
Graeme Ramage for Mark Gilhaney (70)
John Hempstead for David Winters (70)
Lewis Bonar for Joshua Flood (75)
Gary Brass for Scott Davidson (84)
Kevin Nicoll (80)
||Gary Thom (90)|
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Jamie Ewings (GK)||2 apps||-|
|Paul Nugent||39 apps||-|
|Alan Lithgow||5 apps||-|
|Martin McNiff||49 apps||1 goal|
|James Creaney||27 apps||-|
|Mark Gilhaney||34 apps||10 goals|
|Scott Agnew||5 apps||1 goal|
|Adam Monaghan||3 apps||-|
|Kevin Nicoll||4 apps||-|
|Bryan Prunty||4 apps||1 goal|
|David Winters||16 apps||5 goals|
|John Hempstead (sub)||2 apps||-|
|Graeme Ramage (sub)||5 apps||-|
|Pat Walker (sub)||28 apps||10 goals|
|Youngest Player:||Martin McNiff (19 years 360 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Bryan Prunty (28 years 220 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 65 days|
|Domestic Players:||11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Jamie Lyden (17 years 317 days)|
|Oldest Player:||John Hempstead (41 years 234 days)|
|Average Player Age:||24 years 247 days|
|Domestic Players:||15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
|Scott Agnew scored his first goal for the Club.|
STIRLING Albion provided another stern test in the first home game of Dumbarton's 2001/12 Second Division league campaign at the Rock, emerging comfortable 5-1 victors.
After an early slip, Sons ended the first half in charge of the match, but then crashed disastrously in the second period.
The home side gave themselves an uphill task from the outset, when on four minutes the Binos broke through, and Darren Smith pounced on a ball which Dumbarton 'keeper Jamie Ewings had only managed to parry away. He slotted home tidily to give Stirling Albion a 1-0 lead.
Sons fought back straight away. Three minutes later, Bryan Prunty was pulled down 30 yards out. Scott Agnew stepped confidently up to the free-kick and struck a beautifully flighted ball high into the top left-hand corner of the net, giving Binos' sticksman Sam Filler no chance.
The equaliser provided Dumbarton with a visible boost. On 11 minutes another Agnew free-kick from the right swerved viciously and forced the Albion 'keeper to stretch high in order to tip the ball away to safety.
Then from a goalmouth scramble following the resultant corner, Prunty came close to putting Sons in front. His header went just wide as he found himself under pressure on the near post.
Not long after, David Winters, who had at last received his international clearance before the game, broke down the left. Hesitating slightly, he found himself edged wide. A good strong cross from him found Agnew, whose half-volley was only just off-target.
The first real warning of what Stirling Albion would unleash later in the game came when Joshua Flood sliced Sons' defence apart, enabling John Crawley to cross into the box. But an onrushing Binos' attacker was unable to connect with the ball in front of goal. It was a let-off for Dumbarton.
Flood tried a shot from a central position on the edge of the box, but Ewings was up to the challenge.
Sons pushed forward with determination. They tried to get early balls into the Stirling area, but often Prunty was the only striker forward, and he found himself surrounded.
Martin McNiff set up Kevin Nicoll for a good 20 yard punt, but his effort went high over and to the right of the crossbar. This was a period of sustained pressure from the home side, but with some loose final balls and a lack of space in Stirling's central defence a breakthrough was not forthcoming.
After one good build-up on the left hand side, Nicoll tried to place a side-foot shot, but this went wide on the left.
On 29 minutes ex-Son Alan Cook forced himself through the Dumbarton defence, making two recoveries from half-successful tackles. But Ewings was able to push the ball away.
In one of the best moves of the game five minutes later, Adam Monaghan released Prunty on the right wing. His touch was slightly over-hit, but the big no. 9 managed to get in a dangerous ball over the area. Winters got his head to it, but was just knocked off balance by Albion defender Devon Jacobs.
The Binos threatened with a free-kick on the left, close to the goal line, from Alan Cook. He found Sean Dillon. But Sons were spared, as the ball was bundled past the post.
Mark Gilhaney was involved in two promising moves for Sons towards the end of the first period. On the first occasion, he completely turned Crawley, but then ran into trouble. Then released once more by Monaghan, he was unable to find space for an unimpeded shot, or time to pass to Agnew.
James Creaney had the last shot in what ended up as a promising 45 minutes for Dumbarton. However, Prunty took a knock, and was replaced at the break by Pat Walker.
In the second half things went rapidly and badly wrong for Dumbarton. The game was hardly underway again when Alan Cook crashed through the Sons defence with an inspired burst of pace, lashing the ball into the roof of the net to give Stirling Albion a 2-1 lead. There was little the defence could do.
The shock tactics worked again a few minutes later, when Dumbarton, reeling from the early setback, were caught by another quality counter-attack. This time Scott Davidson inflicted the damage, locating Flood, who produced another great finish. 3-1 on 48 minutes.
Barely ten minutes later it was 4-1 to the visitors. A free-kick on the left seemed to scythe through the Dumbarton defence, leaving Dillon looking surprised and grateful in front of goal. He made no mistake, and Sons' woes increased.
Stirling Albion were well in control of the game at this stage, and with what looked like an unassailable lead they became even more audacious. Cook, who had a good game, continued to be threatening against his old club.
Flood hit a speculative shot from just over the half way line. It never looked like going in, but it underlined the visitors' sense of superiority. Smith again broke on the left for the Binos, but he struck high over the bar.
On 69 minutes Stirling completed the rout by going nap courtesy of John Crawley, with the Sons defence again looking exposed.
Graeme Ramage and trialist John Hempstead came on for Dumbarton, replacing Gilhaney and Winters.
But as the rain started to fall more heavily, so the shutters came down on Dumbarton's afternoon. An acrobatic save from Ewings just prevented Smith adding further to Sons misery.
Then as the match began to peter out, Dumbarton won a free-kick on the edge of the Albion area. Alan Lithgow stepped up and blasted the ball in on goal. It glanced off the top right-hand side of the upright.
In the end, Stirling Albion looked good for their 5-1 win. Sons now face two tough away trips to Brechin City and East Fife before the international break at the beginning of September, still in search of the precious first points of the new campaign.
Match report by Simon Barrow